Injustice: Gods Among Us – Review


Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us Injustice: Gods Among Us

Developer NetherRealm Studios

Publisher WB Games

Platforms Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, iPad, iPhone

Released: 04-16-2013(NA)

Verdict: Amazing Fighting with Super Powered Superheroes!

Score: 8/10

I would have written this sooner, but, you have NO idea how hard it is to type properly with a controller in your hands.

Where to start… I am HORRIBLE at fighting games. There are a lot of things in this beautiful package that can turn a player off. The fact that the game engine and fighting engine are essentially Mortal Kombat may turn off some players of fighting games who prefer more advanced controls and moves. The fact that it is only DC Characters may turn some people off (I suspect that with parent company WB owning both the developer and DC may have had some influence). If you are not at least aware of the Crisis on Infinite Earths/ Infinite Crisis storylines or the show Fringe then you may get turned off by the story. Some people may get turned off because it is decidedly focused on the single player Story Mode. You don’t have to play it though. My point is that there are a lot of things that Injustice could do or be that turn gamers off from ever picking up the game. This would be a grave error on their part because Injustice is a fantastic experience.

Supes melts Grundy!

 

Story Mode took me about 5 hours between bathroom breaks and more beer. I should say that I am just the worst at fighting games, and played through the story on medium to make sure I wouldn’t get stuck anywhere. The story is THAT good. I would put it on par with the DC Animated direct to video movies such as the upcoming Superman: Unbound and one of my favorites Justice League: New Frontier. DC and NetherRealm Studios have gone all out on this title even going so far to produce a comic series that explains the years leading up to the beginning on the game. DC has even said that the comic could have life past the games release window if the fans keep reading it. With or without reading the involved backstory the games Story Mode stands on it’s own legs and is well crafted. The story is played out akin to the last Mortal Kombat (9) games story mode. You play as one character and routinely change off after a few matches and continue onward filling in the blanks as different characters find out new information. I have to say that this really gives you a good feel for most of the 25 some characters in the game which will provide you not only a level boost, but an experience boost when you take your skills online. I would definitely recommend playing at least a little bit of the story before diving into the plethora of other modes on the disc.

 

Also pretty much taken directly from the last Mortal Kombat is the STAR Labs Challenge area. This is just the Challenge Tower from MK9 with the added benefit of being able to skip a mission here or there; A feature which MK9 was sorely lacking and stopped me from going further into the tower at about 200. I also feel that STAR Labs varies the missions a lot better than MK9 did. One mission early on has you play as Catwoman’s Cat and tasks you with avoiding danger. Additionally any skin packs you may have gotten as a pre-order bonus comes with themed missions in STAR Labs.

 

I've played as the actual cat more often than Catwoman

 

Online multiplayer is sort of a mixed bag. Because the characters aren’t all perfectly balanced this leads to certain characters being used more and more as players figure out their moves and powers. I actually like as a comic nerd that the characters aren’t all balanced. While this will surely enrage fighting game purists and anyone who fights against Cyborg online (The current top 10 players in the world all play as Cyborg), it means that the attention to the DC universe is there. Even in the way the characters interact with the varied items in the environments. Batman for instance will see a car and throw some explosives on it to damage his opponent whereas Superman just picks the thing up over his head and chucks it. It just shows that while they could have pasted the same animation on every character NetherRealm took the time to think carefully about what each character could and could not do physically. Additionally if you are wondering how Batman can take a hit from Superman and live but can’t pick up a dumpster the game has an answer for that, in a quick one line “nanotech” explanation. It’s unfortunate because the line would almost be a throw away if it wasn’t crucial to believing the plot.

Expect a LOT of this online

 

The Graphics are standard Unreal 3 faire. Pretty similar to MK9 except as the fighters battle the world around them will crumble and break from the super powered hits they dole out. This is actually pretty refreshing to see and when not playing reminded me of watching an episode of the late 90’s DC cartoons. This is also aided by the fact that a majority of the voice actors from those shows have reprised their roles for this game. Bruce Timm the most notable but even characters like Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, and Lex have returned. Side note on graphics and Lex Luthor that I can’t escape… He looks EXACTLY like Bruce Willis. It’s really all I can see and has made every fight with him in it SUPER distracting. Otherwise the character models look like a combination of the Earth Two heroes and the 90’s Cartoons with the exception of Batman who looks like he crawled straight out of The Dark Knight.

All in all this is a game I could not rave enough about despite it’s few issues. The roster is beyond solid and the voice acting and graphics are something to drool at. If you still have a sour taste in your mouth from DC vs. MK than this will be your palate cleanser. DC has lightened up about the use of their properties and the team at NetherRealm have put out a product that shows those characters are in excellent hands. I hope that DC continues to lighten up and takes more risks like this in the future, but I don’t ever expect to see ANY Superman rip someones spine out or perform fatalities. The prospect of DLC fighters further entices the package and I can’t help but wish that a complete edition comes to the Vita ala MK9, just so I can play more Injustice throughout the day.

Joker is ALLOWED to shoot people now!

I LOVE GAMES YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! SERIOUSLY! seriously...

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